As spring arrives, it’s also time to groom landscapes to reflect the brilliant colors and soft hues of the new season. Nowhere is gardening activity more apparent than at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, where Dallas Blooms, one of the major events held at the neighborhood site, takes place March 4-April 9.

Recognized as one of the most popular attractions in the Southwest, the Arboretum opened in 1982. While comparatively new to the area, the Arboretum and its 66-acre site are part of our community’s history that dates back to the early ‘30s.

Petroleum geologist Everett Lee DeGolyer, who died in 1956, began the search for a site suitable for Dallas’ first arboretum. It wasn’t until 1982, however, that this dream was realized – a dream that included the grounds of his own estate on the east shore of White Rock Lake.

In 1970, the Dallas North Beautification Committee was formed to locate a site for an arboretum and botanical garden. Three years later, the committee formed the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc., a nonprofit organization organized to locate, develop and operate a public botanical garden in Dallas.

In 1977, the City Park Board recommended the grounds of the DeGolyer Estate, which had been purchased by the City in 1976. After raising more than $1 million, in 1980 DABS purchased the 50-year-old Camp Estate, located on 22 acres next to the DeGolyer Estate. Two years later, the City and DABS signed a 25-year contract combining both estates for development of the Arboretum.

Today, the Arboretum includes 25 acres of ornamental gardens, the historic DeGolyer and Camp homes, and 44 acres of natural woodlands.

The Arboretum is run by a small staff and 900 volunteers, who give tours of the DeGolyer home, work as gardeners and operate concession stands. Last year, the volunteers assisted 288,000 visitors.

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